EDUHSD hires CPA as chief business officer

By From page A1 | March 22, 2011

From the Yuba City Unified School District  with its 16 schools and more than 13,000 students to  El Dorado Union High School District with four high schools, two charter schools and a little more than 7,000 students might be a nice move for the new Associate Superintendent of Business Services Baldev Johal. But when the move comes with a salary increase from $139,000 to $161,000, it looks like a very nice move indeed.

But looks are deceiving, said EDUHSD Superintendent Chris Hoffman.

“$139,000 was Baldev’s base salary in Yuba City Unified. In addition, his health benefits were paid by the district; he was given a cell phone and car allowance; a longevity increment because he had been with his district for 12 years; the district contributed to a tax sheltered annuity and he received an additional $1,ooo for having a master’s degree, so Baldev’s actual salary was a little over $160,000.”

Hoffman said EDUHSD does not pay for health benefits, contribute to TSA or offer car and cell phone allowances. While health benefits are not an added fringe benefit to the base salary as they are in Yuba City, health benefits cap and expenses are included in the EDUHSD salary as are professional dues. The financial incentive for a master’s degree is included in the salary for this position. Expenses such as a cell phone or commuting expenses will be paid by Johal from his salary. He will be eligible for a step increase, based on performance, to $165,028 in the spring of 2012.

Baldev Johal holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from California State University, Sacramento, a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and is a Certified Public Accountant. He served for 12 years as deputy superintendent for business for Yuba City Unified School District and, prior to his work for Yuba City Unified, served as consultant for the Kishan Group and the Sutter Hotel Group and as finance officer for Yuba City. He was recruited for the EDUHSD position by the current EDHUSD Associate Superintendent of Business Services Steve Luhrs.

“He talked about what a great team EDUHSD had and all the new program offerings,” said Johal. ” It sounded like a great opportunity to focus in a different area.”

Johal said he is looking forward to the challenges and differences between a K-12 district and one specifically focused on high school students.

” K-12 runs the gamut of what is offered, but high school is the final stopping point before students go out into the wide world into college or work or technical courses,” said Johal. “I was in Yuba City for 12 years and eventually, like in any job you do for a long time, you learn less and less new stuff and reach a kind of plateau. This will be a new learning curve and a great opportunity for growth.”

“I look forward to Baldev joining our district and expect his transition to be seamless. He has all of the qualifications and credentials and comes highly recommended, so I anticipate his expertise in these uncertain economic times will prove invaluable to us,” said Hoffman.

“Steve Luhrs is leaving us in good shape,” said new EDUHSD board member Kevin Brown,”and we are one of the few school districts that didn’t have to issue any lay-off notices for next year, so we need a CBO as good as the one that is leaving.”

Johal is also leaving Yuba City Unified in good shape with a general fund balance of $10.6 million and reserves of $2.3 million for economic uncertainty.

Baldev Johal lives in Yuba City with his family but plans to move to this area.

“I plan to take an apartment for the interim,” said Johal, “and then get to know the area and the real estate opportunities before I move up permanently.”

He replaces retiring Associate Supertindent Stephen Luhrs and joins EDUHSD on April 18.

Currently EDUHSD is advertising for a new associate superintendent of educational services to begin July 1.

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5068 or [email protected]

Wendy Schultz

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